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Justin Wood

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since Jan 11, 2013
KY
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Recent posts by Justin Wood

Look up "chinampas". The natives of what we now call Central America developed the systems in swamps and low lying areas.
3 years ago
Susan,

Not sure exactly what you mean by keeping your system functional?

Are the lateral lines the problem? clay pipes, trees, etc. ?

You can feed the bacteria in your system or even use baker's yeast.

Justin
3 years ago
Just my thoughts - yes. I would keyhole and I would rectangle. Test it to see what you like, micro climates, etc. etc. There is no fail really. Just keep testing things.
3 years ago
Tom,

Of course it depends . . . but a general rule is that you want to space swales the tree height apart. So if your plan to plant trees that will be 100 feet in the air, then you want your swales 100 feet apart. If you are planting trees that will mature to 15 feet tall, then dig swales 15 feet apart.

With that said, if your are south facing (northern hemisphere) on a slope then I think you can probably tighten up your distance. If you are north facing, then you want more sunshine to come into the space.

You can create lots of micro climates based on your spacing and texture of rocks, water, etc.

There is a ton on this forum about steep slopes.

Justin

3 years ago
Not sure what you about a water tank, but I have an amazing wood stove made out of a large outdoor propane tank cut in half. It has the stove pipe exhaust not at the top of the stove, but a little further down to increase heat circulation. Nice air tight door on front. It has some simple legs on it. It also has a flat top for cooking and heat distribution. Extremely efficient for a traditional wood stove.
3 years ago
I live in KY. As you probably already know, the building inspection/code can vary greatly from county to county. I have seen it change a lot in the past 5 years. There are counties in KY with little to no code enforcement. There are some really cool people around the Berea community on I-75 already doing permaculture related things - it is worth checking out based on what you wrote. It is more mountain land. EKU and UK are very close for school. This is the kind of stuff they are doing at Berea College - http://www.berea.edu/grow-appalachia/2014/07/22/hugelkultur-easy/
3 years ago
I go back and forth on this same issue. I have not planted near my drain field, but I am going to have to decide soon. I have read and listened to everyone who says go for it, to those who say never get near the drain field. I don't have a great answer, but here are my guidelines for my planting this year. 1) I know that my lines are old and already have some issues so I am leaning towards a more conservative approach. 2) I am not going to plant anything in the drain field with edible root crops. 3) I am going to plant in the area of my drain field but I am going to maintain roots probably further away from lines than necessary.
3 years ago
I would not recommend putting the essential oils directly onto a cat or dog. Instead, we have watered down the essential oils in a spray bottle and sprayed the floors and beds. In the hot summer, a light watered down peppermint spray is very cooling on the bed sheets.
3 years ago
We have never bought kefir grains before, but we have had kefir grains that appeared to "melt" or "disappear" in the milk (maybe too much milk and too little mature grains?) Try switching the milk at something like 48 hours and not 24. The only real concern is that the grains will consume all the sugars in the milk, but that takes some time.

If this doesn't work, try to get some kefir from a friend or someone in the area. If you can't find anyone, then let me know and we can send you some - we have kefir coming out our ears.
4 years ago
Great questions. I have 2 answers for you:

1) Sepp Holzer and a lot of people want to mimic nature. In nature, the seed will fall to the ground - some on good soil, some gets eaten - sounds like the parable Jesus taught. Not sure what Holzer would plant by seed, but I would guess about every kind of plant. The ones best for the situation will grow and thrive. Others just don't make it. That is what nature does so we should do that also.

2) I am not Sepp Holzer or a lot of other people. If I spend money on vegetable seeds, I want them to grow and produce so I am going to plant carefully and tend to the plants. As a result, I have to deal with sicker, weaker plants.

I do think the ultimate goal is to have seeds that are adapted to my specific property/area/microclimates. If I let them develop over the years, I will have good quality and abundance of seeds. Then I can just throw them on the ground like Sepp Holzer and have a paradise. Right now, I am just not there with my time or my resources.